The pair of white and pink hatchlings lack their species’ usual dark coloration
Only two of 18 eggs have hatched so far. Congrats to the gator parents, Snowflake and Blizzard!
In a rare event, two albino alligators hatched last week at a zoo in Kenansville, Florida.
Instead of sharing the species’ dark grey-green skin, these American alligator hatchlings are white and pink, with pale-colored eyes and claws. They are two of around 200 albino alligators in the world, according to Chris Perkins of the South Florida Sun Sentinel. At just over a week old, the albino gators are “thriving,” says the zoo.
“We’re really excited, we have these guys in the back right now, we’re taking really good care of them, making sure they’re doing really good, and then before long we’ll have them out on exhibit too,” says Andrew Biddle, an alligator trainer at Wild Florida, in a Facebook video.
Albinism occurs when a gene mutation is inherited from one or both parents; the condition can appear in plants, animals, and people. The hereditary mutation disrupts the production of the pigment melanin, which determines things like skin, fur, and eye color. These are the zoo’s second set of albino hatchlings from 27-year-old mom, Snowflake, and 16-year old dad, Blizzard, who also share the condition, reports Madeleine Marr for the Miami Herald.
“We’re so proud of our albino alligator parents, Snowflake and Blizzard, and our Croc Squad team for helping these hatchlings,” says Sam Haught of Wild Florida in a statement. “With our Croc Squad overseeing these eggs, we’re hoping that these alligators will help engage more visitors, locals and tourists alike, with their environment.”